01/03/2013 11:15AM

Meadowlands: Old pro Hypnotic Blue Chip returns on the big track

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Hypnotic Blue Chip, winning the 2010 U.S. Pacing Championship, has earned $1.7 million.

Trainer Kevin McDermott knows that his $1.7 million-winning pacer Hypnotic Blue Chip isn’t as fast as he once was, but the trainer still believes he’s quite capable of racing and defeating the best stock in training this winter. The now-seven-year-old, faces a field of nine in Saturday’s $30,000 Free-For-All feature at the Meadowlands.

“Two years ago he could pace in (1):47. Last year he won in (1):49,” said McDermott about the son of Art Major.

The trainer watched many of the horses in Saturday’s feature battle at Harrah’s Philadelphia in December and doesn’t see his horse being too far off that group.

“He won the Open at Yonkers a few starts back,” McDermott said.

The return to the mile oval for Hypnotic Blue Chip is perhaps the best thing the stallion has going for him. A winner in seven starts in 2012 in 25 appearances, he earned nearly $200,000. Not bad for a horse that returned to action in May after nearly eight months on the sidelines. It’s easy to see why McDermott would have so much confidence in his horse as the January stakes season approaches.

“He definitely picks up on the big track, but he’s shown over time that he can get over the half mile tracks just as well. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to be able to do it week-in-week-out on the smaller track,” McDermott said.

Saturday’s feature is pretty well stocked, with defending Presidential winner Golden Receiver making his season’s debut after a near seven-figure campaign in 2012. Trainer Mark Harder last raced the veteran in November and suggested his horse had little time off.

“This horse really doesn’t like the paddock,” Harder said. “I jogged him every other day, that’s pretty much it.”

For Golden Receiver, the likely favorite from post four in the evening’s sixth race, (first post 7:15 p.m.) it looks to be a situation where he can be the dominant horse.

Despite a long campaign in 2012 with a ton of front-end miles Golden Receiver held his form incredibly well to the end of the season.

Is he better during the winter?

“I don’t think you could say that,” Harder said, “He paced in 1:48 during the winter and he paced in 1:48 during the summer.”

Perhaps the hottest horse in Saturday’s feature is Dial Or No Dial. A winner in four of his last five starts, all at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Jim Campbell trainee landed post two for his Meadowlands return. A career winner in excess of $1.5 million, Dial Or No Dial has never been sharper.

McDermott appeared excited about the prospects of Village Beat in Saturday’s fifth race, an A-2 event.

“I think my other horse (Noble Falcon) got into the tougher of the two A-2 divisions,” McDermott said. “He (Village Beat) really finished well from a difficult spot last week.”

The nine-year-old Noble Falcon drew post four in the seventh race. Now a millionaire, the hard-hitting gelding no longer needs the big track to succeed. The drop in class should also do him good.

McDermott was a little less optimistic about the chances of Blueridge Western in the eleventh race A-1 Pace.

“I know he shows a lot of money won in his career but I think he’s in a little steep here,” said McDermott. “I think when Yonkers reopens we’ll send him back there to race.”

McDermott trains a stable of 20 head at Showplace Farms in New Jersey and is very excited about the prospects of his just-turned three-year-old pacer Lone Wolf Currier.

“I think he may be the fastest horse I’ve ever trained,” McDermott said. “He won the $70,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and then bucked his shins.”

The colt by The Panderosa won three of four races as a freshman and paced in 1:52 3/5 with Tim Tetrick catch-driving.

“He’s a full brother to Lookout Hanover,” said McDermott in reference to the world champion he trained a few years back for owner Francis Azur. The same owner put down $110,000 to purchase Lone Wolf Currier as a yearling at Harrisburg in the fall of 2011.

“We’re getting him ready for the Pennsylvania races and he’ll be staked to all of the major races,” McDermott said.

With a dozen races on its Saturday night program The Meadowlands will offer a $25,000 Guaranteed Early Pick-4 wager on races 3-6 and a $75,000 Guaranteed Late Pick-4 wager on races 7-10.